The controversial Catholic priest – appointed by Pope Francis last month to the Vatican’s communications office – has ruffled feathers by claiming that faithful Catholics may be in for a ‘surprise’ when they ‘get to heaven to be greeted by LGBT men and women’.
Reporting that Martin, editor-at-large of the Jesuit-run America magazine, made the comment on his Facebook page last week after posting a link to a pro-gay event, religious website LifeSite went into complete meltdown, and reached for the biggest gun it could find to shoot Martin down for saying that some saints were probably gay.
From a stack of weaponry, LifeSite chose an actual saint to attack Martin: St Peter Damian, who fell off his perch in 1072. Damian called homosexuality a “vice”. In his 11th century Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus) – “the most extensive condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederasty and homosexual practices” – he wrote that homosexuality:
Opens up hell and closes the door of paradise. This vice [of same-sex activity] is the death of bodies, the destruction of souls, pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the intellect, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, introduces the diabolical inciter of lust, throws into confusion, and removes the truth completely from the deceived mind.
It prepares snares for the one who walks, and for him who falls into the pit, it obstructs the escape. It opens up hell and closes the door of paradise.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are ‘intrinsically disordered’ since they are ‘contrary to the natural law’ and they ‘close the sexual act to the gift of life’.
But, not only this: The Church also teaches that same-sex attraction is itself ‘objectively disordered’ since God created sexual attraction to be between a male and female for the sake of procreation.
In this way, there is no such reality as a ‘homosexual person’, but only a person who struggles with the ‘disorder’ of being attracted to the same sex. The Church teaches that everybody, including those with a disordered sexuality – often expressing itself in lust, masturbation, fornication, pornography, homosexuality – are called to chastity. That is, to the moral virtue of a rightly ordered sexuality integrated within the person.
The Christian faith holds that the homosexual act, along with murdering the innocent, depriving a laborer of his wages, and oppressing the poor, is one of the four sins that cries to heaven for justice. Those who commit grave sin can only enter heaven if they let go of their sinful ways, asking God for forgiveness and mercy. Jesus teaches that it is the ‘pure of heart’ who will see God.
Martin recently published a book in which he outlines ways he thinks the Catholic Church should be building bridges of acceptance towards practicing homosexuals.
Last year he accepted an award from the pro-homosexual New Ways Ministry. During his acceptance speech, he said that the Church should embrace homosexuality’s ‘special gifts’ and ‘lay to rest’ language about the ‘objectively disordered’ nature of homosexual inclinations and acts.
He has used his Twitter platform to support transgendered issues, such as boys using the girls’ bathroom and vice versa and has released videos on YouTube that advocate for the normalization of homosexuality in the Catholic Church.